The farm bill is a real porker
They're going to mark up the farm bill this week and if I were you, I'd follow the advice of Heritage Action:
"Hold On To Your Wallets: Farm Bill Incoming!"
Nothing says big government quite like a trillion dollar farm and food stamp bill. And agri-lobbyists went to town in fashioning as many special interest goodies as the could stuff into a single bill.
Two words: Out Rageous:
Mark up week for the $1 trillion food stamp and farm bill has finally arrived and with it the ominous prospect of self-styled conservatives and Republicans rubberstamping President Obama's big-government agenda. Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees released the draft text of their respective bills last week and the contempt for the American taxpayer could not be more evident.
The bills look remarkably similar to last year's legislation: chock full of special interest handouts, market-distorting subsidies, taxpayer-funded shallow loss crop insurance, and of course hundreds of billions of dollars in food stamps. Whether it's the consumer-crushing sugar program or a dairy program with a Soviet-style flare, the farm bill is an American taxpayer's worst nightmare.
The Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK), is already putting on his best "don't look behind the curtain" routine when it comes to the enormity of his proposed bill. He would have us believe that the Ag Committee really scraped the bottom of the barrel to save money this go around!
Instead of the $35 billion in "savings" from last year's proposed bill, Rep. Lucas was able to stretch things out to find $38 billion for this year's mark up. "I was compelled to match his [President Obama] number. I'm saving $38 billion from the farm bill process," Lucas said.
Indeed. The problem of course is that this bill doesn't save much of anything considering the cost is some 60% higher than the original estimate for the 2008 farm bill. And there's also that slight little hiccup courtesy of CBO showing the $35 billion in "savings" from last year's proposed bill was actually more like $26 billion.
Nothing to see here, folks, move along!
Politicians get all weepy when they talk about the "family farm" and such. And while there is still something to said for the small businessman who farms for a living, most of the goodies in the bill will not be going to them. Instead, the gigantic corporate farmers will be the beneficiaries of congressional largess.Whether they need it is not the issue; they want it, and they're going to get it. There are few industries where lobbyists have a bigger impact than agriculture policy. And the hogs were really feeding when this monstrosity was being written.
Despite a record drought last year, farm incomes are at an all time high. The depression-era subsidy programs needs to be scrapped and other reforms that would make sensible farm policy a reality need to be instituted.
But when it comes to agriculture, it doesn't matter what party is in power; the waste continues and the taxpayer gets shafted.